Cabin Fever: Little Lost Valley Cabin

Little Lost Valley Cabin.

Adventure Journal weekend cabin:

'“Public good with private means” is not a phrase often associated with real estate development, especially in the rural west, where development all too often means splitting old agricultural land into ranchette subdivisions or erecting sprawling log castle trophy homes built on a foundation of hubris. The 700-square-foot cabin on Summit Spring Ranch, Idaho, is neither. In fact, it’s precisely the embodiment of a new approach to development, one that aims to conserve, restore, protect, and model a lighter way of living.

The structure, also known as the Little Lost Valley cabin, was designed by architect Clark Stevens for investment company Beartooth Capital, whose business is built around finding neglected ranch properties, restoring structures, waterways, and lands, and selling them sometimes with conservation easements in place. Beartooth bought the property in Idaho to the east of the Sawtooths, which had no legal road access, and then put together a deal with the Nature Conservancy that added 623 acres to the parcel and access right of way in exchange for setting aside 1,960 of the 3,783 total acres.

Since launching in 2005, Beartooth has bought 25,000 acres, protected 13,000, and restored 37 miles of creeks and rivers.

“We find properties where we can fix flaws and restore rivers, creeks, wetlands and agricultural land,” the firm says. “We seek ranches that lack access, infrastructure, amenities and curb appeal and that have legal, title and other problems that we can solve.”

The cabin at Summit Springs reflects this philosophy, and it was designed to attract a like-minded buyer — not necessarily an easy thing to find when the kinds of folks who can afford $4 million ranches in the middle of nowhere tend to like their second homes to spread out far and wide. But Beartooth is principled and patient.'

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